A Non-Targeted Approach Unravels the Volatile Network in Peach Fruit
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Volatile compounds represent an important part of the plant metabolome and are of particular agronomic and biological interest due to their contribution to fruit aroma and flavor and therefore to fruit quality. By using a non-targeted approach based on HS-SPME-GC-MS, the volatile-compound complement of peach fruit was described. A total of 110 volatile compounds (including alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, esters, lactones, carboxylic acids, phenolics and terpenoids) were identified and quantified in peach fruit samples from different genetic backgrounds, locations, maturity stages and physiological responses. By using a combination of hierarchical cluster analysis and metabolomic correlation network analysis we found that previously known peach fruit volatiles are clustered according to their chemical nature or known biosynthetic pathways. Moreover, novel volatiles that had not yet been described in peach were identified and assigned to co-regulated groups. In addition, our analyses showed that most of the co-regulated groups showed good intergroup correlations that are therefore consistent with the existence of a higher level of regulation orchestrating volatile production under different conditions and/or developmental stages. In addition, this volatile network of interactions provides the ground information for future biochemical studies as well as a useful route map for breeding or biotechnological purposes.